We’re still living without appliances or carpet until next week. I can’t tell you how happy it made me to be able to go over to mom’s house and do some cooking!
Stuffing or dressing? Does stuffing mean that it’s cooked in the bird and dressing mean that it’s cooked outside the bird? Or does it just depend on which part of the country you’re from? We’ve always called it stuffing. Maybe because we have always cooked it in the bird, I’m not really sure. This year we’re headed out to my in law’s for Thanksgiving and I’m bringing the GF DF stuffing and GF DF Pecan Pie Bars. (Which already have an entire missing row, by the way.)
I decided to name it Million Dollar Stuffing because it’s worth its weight in gold and can be a little pricey to make. I would say it’s about $25.00 for an 8 1/2 by 11 pan, but trust me, it’s worth it. You may be able to cut the cost a bit by making your own gluten free bread, but probably not by much. The flours that go into making homemade gluten free bread are also expensive.
It is Thanksgiving after all, it only comes once a year so it’s worth the splurge. So stuffing it is! Or is that dressing?
Million Dollar Stuffing
Preheat Oven to 350°
2 Loaves Udi’s Whole Grain Gluten Free Bread (or your favorite gf bread, or homemade gf bread)
1 Package All Natural GF Bacon, partially frozen
4 Stalks Celery, sliced lengthwise and diced
1 Medium Sweet Onion, diced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
32 ounces of Chicken Stock (home made or store bought, just make sure it’s GF)
Dairy Free Butter, about 2 1/2 Tablespoons
About 3 Tablespoons of Poultry Seasoning plus more for stuffing bird (or your favorite stuffing seasoning or fresh herbs, season generously!)
Sea Salt to Taste
Slice and cube the gluten-free bread. The amount will depend on how many people you are serving, of course. I thought I would need three loaves but only ended up needing two.
Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet, drizzle generously with olive oil, sprinkle the poultry seasoning over the top, season generously with sea salt, and toss with fingers.
Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, remove. Toss, then bake for another 15 minutes and continue this process until the cubes are browned and crisp on the outside with a little softness on the inside.
While the bread cubes are toasting, get the vegetables and garlic ready.
Dice the bacon and fry in a skillet until it is crisp on the outside but still a little chewy. Yes, the entire package! This isn’t “diet day” it’s Thanksgiving.
Remove the crisp bacon with a slotted spoon onto paper towels. Reserve 2 Tablespoons or so of the bacon fat to saute the onions, celery and garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent and the celery only has a slight crunch.
Place the toasted and seasoned bread cubes in a bowl, top with the sautéed veggies and bacon.
Add more poultry seasoning and toss. Season generously with sea salt. Pour 1 box of the chicken stock in a 4 cup glass measuring cup and add the 2 1/2 Tablespoons of dairy free butter. Microwave for about 2-3 minutes or until stock is hot and butter is melted.
Pour 1/2 of the heated liquid over the top of the other ingredients in the bowl and toss carefully until liquid is absorbed into the bread cubes. Repeat with the remaining liquid.
Drizzle olive oil in a nice baking dish and rub around the bottom and sides with a paper towel. (Or, stuff the bird)
Fill with the stuffing, cover with tin foil, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. This stuffing can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated. When you’re ready to heat it, pour a little more chicken stock over the top, cover with foil and heat for about 30 minutes or until it is heated through in a 350 degree oven.
This is Miss Penelope. My mother is “babysitting” her for my son for a while. We can probably all see where that is going! She’s adorable and such a talker. Watched me the entire time I made the stuffing. Shared a little bacon with her and now I have a friend for life.
Happy Thanksgiving to you from the Policani Family and Miss Penelope!